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Acts 17:22-34   We gather to worship the known God.  The God who made the world and everything in it.  He needs nothing from humans.  He gives life to all and breath to all.   His plan is for us to seek Him and find Him not grope around in the dark.  He is not far from us.

Deuteronomy 30:11-16  God is not to mysterious or to difficult to understand.  We don’t have to go to heaven and have Him brought down (Jesus did that), nor do we have to go looking for Him across the sea.  His word is very near.  In our mouth and in our heart so we are able to do it.

Back to Acts –  It is in Him we live and move and have our very being!    –   When Paul talked about Jesus and His resurrection from the dead – some people made fun of what was being said.   Others said I have to think about it.  But there were some who believed!   It is time to be “All In”!  No more making fun or trying to figure things out – just believe!

James 3:1-18   Let’s us know we can’t be blessing one time and cursing the next.  We can’t pray in love and live in hate.  Nor can we say God is so good and go around murmuring and complaining.  This shows we are double minded, unsure of who we belong to.  We show who we belong to by our speech and actions.  When we are bitter, envious, self-seeking; pride is right there.  It is a false truth.  It may look and sound good at the moment even self protecting but the results are not good!    James tells us this wisdom does not come down from above but it earthly, sensual, even demonic –  OH!

Bitterness is being angry, hurt, resentful.

Envy is when we are discontent, resentful of someone else.

Resentful keeps popping up.  It means we are feeling or expressing bitterness or indignation at having been treated unfairly.   Being treated unfairly happens a lot in this world.  And when it does we become selfish, lacking consideration for others.  Only concerned about our own pleasures or profit.  These emotions corrupt (alters) a person.

The wisdom that comes from God is first of all PURE (undefiled), peace-loving courteous (considerate, gentle).  It is willing to yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straightforward, impartial and free from doubts, free from wavering, and free from insincerity.

The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.   When Jesus gave the sermon on the mount, He said –  “Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called the sons of God”.

The words that we speak reveal who we truly belong to.   Blessings come from Christ!  Curses do not!

Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on things that are true, noble, just, pure lovely, good reports, virtuous thing, things that are worthy of praise.  These are the things that come from above.

Our words, thoughts and actions come from who we belong to.  Paul said in Acts – It is in Him we live and move and have our very  being.  Let’s get all in!  Then our words will be pure and healing, encouraging, strengthening to others and ourselves –   Get all in!  In Him we live and move and have our very being!

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Short snippets from the day:

Our hope is in Christ!

The same power that resurrected Jesus from the dead lives in us (Rom. 8:11).  That Spirit gave Him new life!  We need to recognize the new life we have because of Jesus.  Jesus came to give us an abundant life.

Ask –  Let me know who I am in You.   Seek –  I am seeking to know You.  Knock – So you can enter into His kingdom now.  (Matt. 7:7-12)

You only have authority in the storms you can sleep in.  Our hope is in Jesus!

What heart is behind your words?  Don’t allow your focus to go negative.

God has all confidence in the power of the cross!  All sin was punished once and for all in Christ.

2 Cor. 5:11-21

  • Christ’s love controls me
  • We’ve died to old habits
  • Jesus reconciled people and no longer counts their sin against them.

Rom. 8:1-17

  • You are free from sin.
  • Jesus, came in the flesh, to show us we can live a pure life in our flesh-  when you live in His Spirit
  • Be marinated in the nature of God.  Not dominated by your sinful nature, or what others say or do.
  • Christ gives life to your mortal body.
  • You are no longer controlled by the sinful nature.  His Spirit lives in you
  • We are under no obligation to live in the flesh.

90% of people do not care about your problems.  The other 10% are glad you have problems.

Our hope is in Christ!  The same power that resurrected Him from the dead, and gave him life again, lives in us and gives us new life.   Let’s live in the resurrected power that lives inside of us!  The new life!  The abundant life, Jesus already paid for it!

Father God has complete confidence in the power of the cross and the resurrection of Jesus.

Thank you Lord for increasing our confidence also and aligning our thinking with Yours!

 

 

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Sunday, September 3, 2017

Ephesians 5:26-27 tells us we need to be washed by the water of the word.

As we look into James chapter 2 may the words spoken cleanse us and redirect our actions, attitudes, thoughts and bring us more into alignment with Christ.

The last verse of James (26) says our body without the spirit is dead!  Our faith without action is also dead!

When say we believe something, but do not put into action then we don’t really believe it.  It is something we know, can quote, but it’s not real until we do it.

James 1:22 tells us to do what we hear from the scriptures not just listen to them – do them.

James 2:19 even demons believe and tremble in the One God!  They believe, they just don’t put any action to what they believe and yet they fear God!

James 2:15-16  Our words cannot feed someone – we must physically give them food.   Our words can’t make someone warm – we must physically give them clothes to wear.

James 1-13  Don’t show favoritism.  Or get caught up in offenses.  It doesn’t matter if one is poor and another is rich, treat them the same.

V4 if you show partiality you become a judge with evil thoughts!   Scary!

V8  Love your neighbor as yourself!

v9  Show partiality and you commit sin.  Interesting!

v13  Judgment without mercy is what we will receive when we show no mercy.  Mercy will win over judgement!

Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in offenses.   Jesus didn’t.   Matthew 16:21-23, Jesus talks about His death and resurrection.  Peter’s response is; “no way is this going to happen to you Lord”.   Jesus response to Peter is – “Get behind me Satan – I’m not accepting your offer!  You are in my way (an offense and a hindrance and a snare to Me)”.

If Jesus would have listened to those words and said your right I don’t have to die this is crazy a crazy idea!  He would have separated Himself from the Father.  Instead He chose to listen to the voice of His Father.  You have been sent to die for the sins of this world.

Jesus was not allowing the words that Satan used to get Him to stop the Fathers plan.  He cast down the thoughts that were exalting themselves over His purpose (2 Cor. 10:5).  He did not pick up the offense that was offered!

We should not pick up offenses either.  They will separate us from the plans the Father has for us.  Like loving others.  Helping when they need help.  Not judging between rich or wealthy.  Honoring people no matter their status.  Showing mercy instead of judging others.

As we continue to fast negativity!  Let us also be aware of the subtle attacks to pick up offenses, stop loving, being  judgment instead of merciful.

Father, wash us with Your words today and allow us by the power of Your Spirit to live without offense, to love, and be merciful just as You are to us.

 

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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Born Again!?

Each of us are born with the seed of sin.  No one except Jesus has been born with out that seed.

Jesus told Nicodemus in John, chapter 3 we must be born again.  To have the sin seed replaced with the spirit of life seed that comes when we accept and believe what Jesus accomplished on the cross for man kind.

Jesus was baptized and the Spirit of God descended upon him and a voice was heard – “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”  (Matt 3:17).  Then the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted.   Jesus fought off the temptations with the Words from the scriptures.

Each of us need to have a new birth and each of us will be tempted.  There are counterfeits to God’s genuine.

There is a worldly love but it is conditional – do what pleases me and we are good.   God’s love is pure, we please Him.

There is a worldly joy from stuff, things.  God’s joy is not based on circumstances/stuff or situations.

There is a worldly peace when things are going our way.  God gives a  peace that passes human understanding.

There is a worldly faith that sees what it wants.  God’s faith is beyond what we see and gives hope.

Matthew 3:11 tells us to repent – turn to God and be baptized.  Allow the baptism to wash away the chaff.

Matthew. 28:19, Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Once we are born again, accepted what Jesus has done for us, repented of our sin.  The next step is baptism in water.  As Matthew 28:19 says we need to be baptized in the name of the Father – which is baptized into His love.  Baptized in the name of the Son (Jesus), who is the word.  Baptized into the Holy Spirit which is God’s power.

Water baptism washes away the old and gives us the new – His love, hearing His word and able to walk in His power.

Today, may you live in a newness of life filled with and overflowing in God’s love, Jesus words, and the Holy Spirits power!

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Learning from James chapter 1

Verse 2 –  Count it all joy when you fall into various trials!    (This is why we must fast negativity and complaining.  Negativity and complaining crush us under the trial.  Joy bring us up and over the trial.  Negativity brings us into despair.  Joy gives us HOPE!)

Nehimiah 8:10  …… the joy of the Lord is your strength!

Verse 3  (James)  The testing of your faith produces patience!  (God is patient!  The fruit of His Spirit in us is patient!)

Verse 4 Let patience have its perfect work so you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Verse 5  When you are in the trial, ask God for wisdom and He will give it to you!

Verse 6  Ask in faith – don’t doubt.   (God isn’t mad when we doubt, He knows our doubt makes us unstable.  Confidence gives us strength and stability.)

Verse 12-15   Endure, have patience in the trial.  God is not the one tempting you.  He can never be tempted with evil.  Our own desires draw us into temptations.  (Don’t let them rule over you.)

Verse 17 –  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning!   (God gives good gifts!  A good way to use discernment – is where I am at good or bad.  Am I responding good or bad to this situation?)

Verse 19   Be quick to hear, s-l-o-w to speak, s-l-o-w to anger.

Verse 20  Our anger does not produce the righteousness of God.

Verse 21  Lay aside all of those negative thoughts, the hurtful words (you want to say in the moment and remember we are to rejoice in our situation, asking for wisdom, quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.)

Verses 22-25  We are to be do what we hear from the scriptures, not just listen to it.  We are to become it.  This is where our freedom comes from.  Allowing the words of Christ to shape who we are, even in our difficult moments.

Verse 26-27   True religion is being able to control our words and reaching out to others.

Today, be encouraged and put to practice the words of James.  Look for the joy you have in the Lord instead of your circumstance.  Be patient!  Ask for God’s wisdom.  Listen carefully!  Think before you speak!  Let go of anger!  Reach out to someone else instead of being held captive to your misery, negativity.    The joy of the Lord is your strength!

 

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Fake News, isn’t a new thing!

Genesis 3 – Adam and Eve hid themselves from God because they realized they were naked.  God comes looking for them and says in verse 11 “who told you, you were naked”.

Just as the enemy gave Adam and Eve fake news to make them doubt, be discouraged, he is still filling people with fake news.   You are not good enough!  You don’t know anything!  Who do you think you are?

What are the words that keep filling your mind and keep you from becoming all that God has planned for you?

Our mistakes, don’t challenge God, belittle Him, or make Him less than.  He is secure in Himself and we will never weaken Him.

Jesus is good news!  Because of Him, God’s nature can become ours.  He know everything about us and still loves us.  We are the apple of His eye.  He is our Good Father, faithful provider, redeemer, restorer, peace, rest, joy, contentment, satisfaction, comforter, ……… everything!

Ephesians 1:7 In Christ we have redemption of our sins through His blood.  Verse 9  He makes knows to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself…..

God created people, YOU, to be loved.   Don’t get hung up on fake news.  Listen for His voice today.  He is speaking.  To YOU!

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

2 Chronicles 16:9    For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.   (NKJV)

He found loyal hearts in 2 Chronicles 30 – The King called for the people to celebrate a passover.  Some made fun of the news.  Didn’t have time for God.  But there were those who came and tore down all of the places of worship that were not to the Lord.   They didn’t come doing everything correct according to the law, but their heart was in the right place. The King prayed and asked the Lord to forgive everyone who prepares their heart to seek God and the Lord listened to him and healed the people.

Isaiah 29:13  The Lord saw the peoples hearts.  They said they were worshiping Him with their lips but the hearts and minds wer far from the Lord!

In chapter 30:10-11 the people say, “we don’t want to hear about the Lord any more!”

God in His graciousness, after they want nothing to do with Him says, in verse 15 –  “In returning (to Me) and resting (in Me) you shall be saved; in quietness and in (trusting) confidence shall be your strength.”  (AMP)

Verse 18 (so good)  ….the Lord (easnestly) waits (expecting, looking, and longing) to be gracious to you; and therefor He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you.  For the Lord is a God of justice.  Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who (earnestyly) wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him (for His vicotory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship)!   (AMP)

God is so GOOD!

He even says in verse 20, “your teacher will not be hid from you any more,…you will hear your teacher.  Verse 21 “your ears will hear a word behind you, saying.  This is the way, walk in it, when you trurn to the right hand and when you turn to the left”    Even during our troubled times!  Yes! Yes! Yes!   (Our teacher is the Holy Spirit)

God is looking at our heart!  Where is it, who, what is, important to us.  When He sees it is Him, He is there for us!

He was there for Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem when they were attacked (2 Chron. 32),  In that same chapter God heals Hezekiah!   Their hearts were toward the Lord and because of that they heard the Lord directing their lives.

He was there for Naaman.  A leper in 2 Kings 5, from another country, comes to see Elisha, the prophet.  Elisha says, go dip in the Jordan river 7 times.  He does it and is completely healed of the leporsy.   He now knows there is only one God in all the earth.  Elisha’s God.  He asks Elisha to to ask the Lord to pardon him when he goes into the Kings temple (who he is working for) and bows down to forgive him.  Elisha say – go in peace.  In other words God will.

God is looking at our hearts!  Who, what, where is our heart connected.  When it is to the Lord, He looks past our weakness, mistakes……He is looking at our heart.  He knows we are just dust.  But when He breathes in us we come alive.

Death is final!   Love if full of possiblilites!

Jesus death brough finality to our death and His love is giving us endless possiblities!

 

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Dave Garrett shared his experience in Costa Rica.  God is good in Costa Rica as well as in Hanover, PA.

Jesus told the rich young ruler in Mark 10:18 …”No one is good but One, that is, God.”

When the King has your heart and you know He is good! It helps us to rise above adversities in life.

Acts 10:38 …God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

When we know Jesus, and have been empowered by the Holy Spirit, and who it is who has our heart, we will be doing just as Jesus did, doing good and healing all who are oppressed.  For God is with us!

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What a morning!   Our children were home from kid’s camp.  They learned about God, but also how to handle themselves in relationships where they didn’t felt accepted.   God directed their thoughts and their words.  This is how we know God is working in our lives when we respond to negativity with God’s love.

Pastor Kevin shared:   The enemy feeds off of every negative thought so he can manifest!   He suggested we starve the sucker!   Fast from negativity!  (6 months!  Forever!)

Jeremiah 33 was our insight for the day.

Jeremiah is in prison and the city was being attacked when God said to him…..Jeremiah call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.  (Oh how God wants to talk with us)

God showed Jeremiah that his love was still for them and how God would restore them.   Verse 19-26   People were saying, God is throwing away His chosen people.  BUT – God said, “If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night so that there will not be day and night in their season then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant,……”

God is drawing His people up!  Whatever life looks like, our thoughts need to be on Him.  Not on the negativity that we feed on.  God still has a plan, a purpose.

It takes work to climb a mountain.  Let’s prepare our assent by fasting negativity!  God will never break His covenant with us.  Our covenant was established with the blood of His Son, Jesus (our Savior), and it will never be abolished or broken!

This is a great reason to starve the negativity in our lives!  We want to look like Him!

 

 

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Mark 8:22-25  Jesus heals a blind man.   When Jesus prayed for him the first time, the man saw men walking as trees.  JESUS HAD TO PRAY A SECOND TIME!   This time the mans understanding and perception was renewed so he could see men clearly.

We all need to have our understanding updated at times.  Our perception is distorted.

John 6 –  Jesus fed 5,000 people.  They follow Jesus to the other side of the sea.  Jesus says you are not following me for the signs but because they wanted Him to feed them.  Like Moses fed the people in the wilderness.  Jesus says He is the true bread which came from heaven and if they eat His flesh and drink His blood they will live.  They couldn’t handle what He said and many left because of an they were offended.  Jesus asks the disciples – will you go away too?  Peter’s response is, “Where can we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  And we have come to believe and know that you are the Christ the Son of the living God.”

We must come to that conclusion also.  There is no where else to go.  Jesus is our life.  Perception change –  Man doesn’t live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”  (Matt. 4:4)

Book of Acts there were many perception changes taking place.  They were filled with the Holy Spirit and the scriptures they knew were now becoming real.  Their hearts changed, so much that they were willing to share whatever they had with each other.  The church grew because they saw something in the people they hadn’t seen before.  People were repenting and getting baptized.  Their purpose was to follow Jesus, this man who was crucified and risen from the dead and was doing amazing signs, wonders, healings.

With all of the funds that were brought, Peter and John didn’t start a home for the lame man in Chapter 3.  Instead they said we don’t have silver or gold but what we do have we will give you –  In the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk.  The man did.  It caused such a stir that Peter and John were put in prison and commanded not to talk about this Jesus again.   They prayed for more boldness instead of becoming quiet.

Acts 5, people are selling land and bringing the money.  Ananias and his wife Sapphira sell some land.  But instead of just giving some of the money they decided to say they were giving all the money!  They both fell down dead!  OH MY!  Why?  What is the perception change?  In Genesis we all have suffered the consequence of Adam and Eve eating of the tree they were told not to.  In Joshua all of the people were punished when Achan took something from the battle at Jericho.  But now…….Only Ananias and Sapphira suffered their punishment for lying to the Holy Spirit.  It was about their heart, they lied the rest of the people grew in their faith.

The people’s perception changed and they wanted to  join together in unity with those who were believing what they were learning. (Acts 2:42-46)  Learning, eating together, sharing communion with each other, they had gladness and simplicity in their heart.

Jesus what am I not seeing clearly?  May I have a perception change. Help me to see more clearly as you did the blind man.  May my understanding be clarified. May my perception change toward your people.  May I understand I can pray and see people healed.  May I have boldness to speak of Christ.  May I have a perception change about stuff and things and have a giving heart.   May I be filled with your Holy Spirit.

A perception change from the Holy Spirit is uplifting.  An offense from the enemy is depressing!  Go with the upgrade of perception change –  Fill us Holy Spirit!

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